After 10-Place Finish In Individual Foil Event, Ellen Geddes And U.S. Team Takes Eighth
by Karen Price
Ellen Geddes competes in the women's individual epee during the Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 on Aug. 26, 2021 in Tokyo.
Ellen Geddes was rehabbing from an automobile accident back in 2011 when she first met members of the national wheelchair fencing team.
“Their captain asked me if I thought it would be fun to stab people, which does sound fun, objectively speaking,” the former equestrian told TeamUSA.org back in 2019. “I was interested in participating right off the bat that way.”
This week the native of Aiken, South Carolina, made her Paralympic debut, and on Saturday she finished 10th in the world in category B women’s foil. She wrapped up her Paralympics on Sunday by taking eighth in the team foil competition, along with fellow first-time Paralympians Terry Hayes and Shelby Jensen.
“It’s great for the first time here,” Geddes, 33, told USA Fencing. “I would’ve much preferred to move up again and it just wasn’t an opportunity today, but I am glad that I made it into the top 16. A 10th-place finish certainly isn’t something to be that disappointed about.”
Geddes was the first U.S. women’s category B foil fencer since 2008. She also competed in women’s individual and team epee to start off the Paralympic slate, finishing 11th individually and seventh with the team.
Moving over to foil, she then won two of her matches in pool play to advance to the round of 16. She beat Anri Sakurai of Japan 5-2 as well as Hungary’s Boglarka Mezo 5-3.
Her elimination round was a rematch against Mezo, but this time the Hungarian came out on top, 15-6.
“I was really struggling to get my body to cooperate with me,” Geddes said. “I thought that I was doing one thing and then my point would not be where I thought it was, so I think that I was struggling a little bit with fatigue by the time I got to the DE. It’s been a tough three days, but that’s no excuse. You have what you have and that’s where it was, and it wasn’t enough.”
Geddes, Hayes and Jensen wrapped things up on Sunday with the team foil event, falling to Italy, Hong Kong and Ukraine in pool play.
Hayes, 63, of North Fort Meyers, Florida, previously took 12th in women's saber category B and finished 14th in individual epee.
The 20-year-old Jensen, of Salt Lake City, finished 12th in category A epee after losing to Hungary’s Amarilla Veres, the eventual gold medalist, in the round of 16. She also took 15th in individual saber.
This was Team USA’s largest contingent in wheelchair fencing since 2012, and the first time the U.S. had a full women’s team since 2004.
Want to follow Team USA athletes during the Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020? Visit TeamUSA.org/Tokyo-2020-Paralympic-Games to view the medal table and results.